Archived Story

Concordia Parish teachers sent to receive AP training

Published 12:12am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

VIDALIA — A handful of Concordia Parish teachers are headed back to school this summer to attend training sessions aimed at preparing them to teach college-level classes.

The school district will offer three different Advanced Placement (AP) courses for the first time next school year — physics, English language and composition and European history.

The AP program gives high school students the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses at their schools.

The students take the courses as part of their regular high-school curriculum and take a test at the end of the year to determine if they can receive college credits.

Vidalia High School American and world history teacher Donna Hugg is one of several teachers throughout the parish receiving the training to teach the classes.

Hugg will be in Baton Rouge this week meeting with teachers from across the state to develop course objectives and material for the European history class.

“As an educator, we never stop learning, so we’re always open to go and learn new things and techniques that will help us in the future,” Hugg said. “Any time a group of teachers can get together and talk about what works and what doesn’t work, it’s going to benefit everyone.”

The AP classes are high-rigor and high-expectation classes that will require more in-depth learning, Superintendent Paul Nelson said.

“It’s more than just a quick, one shot answer, so it’s getting the kids to think about the answers in multiple steps,” Nelson said. “It will be challenging for our students and teachers going in, but we’re excited to offer high school students an opportunity to be exposed to college courses and to earn college credits.”

Nelson said classes like the one Hugg will teach have never been offered before in the district’s curriculum.

“Those will require some changes in the way the classes are taught, so this training is important for the teachers to know exactly what the expectations will be,” Nelson said. “I think the teachers are very excited for this opportunity, but it is something new and different for them.”

Hugg said she believes the courses will allow students to learn what is expected in a college classroom.

“I think those students who are college bound need to develop their college-level academic skills before they get on campus,” Hugg said. “The students have been asking for the classes for a while, so I think they’re excited for the opportunity.”

Students take an AP exam at the end of the year and are graded on a scale of one to five with five being the highest.

Each college or school uses its own policy regarding the number of hours or credits it gives for a student’s score on the AP exam.

Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, for example, give a total of six credit hours for a score of 4 on the AP physics or English and language composition tests.

“If a high school student takes advantage of the AP and dual-enrollment classes, they could earn up to 30 college credits before even getting to college,” Nelson said. “Having one entire year of college under their belt will be a great opportunity for parents to save on those costs and for students to get exposed to the rigor of college-level courses.”

Another teacher training session will be hosted in July at the ULM campus for English courses.